Grain System Maintenance FS Construction Services

Grain System Maintenance: Get a Head Start

Here at FS Construction Services, we are pretty big fans of getting a head start on purchasing, maintenance, and just about everything else for that matter. In the world of agriculture there are so many moving parts, and those parts are exposed to all sorts of weather extremes each year, the importance of regular maintenance is essential. However, getting started on grain system maintenance with a timeline that actually allows you to make adjustments or repairs before you actually need to use a piece of equipment will save you a lot of stress, headaches, and money.

 

Save Money and Stress: Early Grain System Maintenance

 

Additionally, if you are in need of a grain system repair, the sooner you request it, the less trouble you’re likely to have with shipping times or parts shortages.

So we know harvest is barely behind us, but we wanted to give you some tips to get a huge head start on the season this coming year.

  • Check control boards, safety sensors, electrical boxes, and gas controls
  • Inspect handling equipment, conveyors, buckets, and so on
  • Sweep and clean interiors
  • Treat exterior surfaces for mold, mildew, and pests
  • Inspect vents to make sure airflow isn’t blocked
  • Check for leaks, rust, or any other sign of damage, rot, or deterioration
  • Check door seals
  • Make sure supply lines and burners are clear of debris
  • Always be sure to turn off, disconnect, or block off mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, or pneumatic equipment
  • Wear protective equipment and fall protection when working in or around your grain bin

You might be able to perform many of these maintenance items yourself, but if you give yourself a head start you will have plenty of time to schedule a maintenance professional. If you are in need of any grain system repair or equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services grain bin project in winter

Project Profile: Grain Bin Project in Winter

One of the realities of living in the Midwest is that you’re forever at the mercy of its temperamental seasons. Sure, there is the general pattern in which spring becomes summer becomes autumn becomes winter, but outside of those general guidelines, pretty much anything goes. And while we wouldn’t have it any other way, it’s also true that the work we do at FS Construction Services is often dependent upon some level of atmospheric cooperation, and this grain bin project certainly benefited from that.

 

Winter Cooperated for this Grain Bin Project

 

Now, it’s easy to think of this in only negative terms. Rain when it is supposed to be dry, cold when it is supposed to be warm, finally dry and warm but so windy anything not bolted down is in danger of becoming a kite. However, an occasional upside of this life is that sometimes you have a winter so comparatively temperate to previous years, that you can get a lot of work done. Such was the case earlier this year when we had a much easier time of building in January.

Our client was ready to start the year off with a preseason jump, and thanks to an obliging month, we were able to make that happen. Nathan Koester and his team quickly constructed a 36 ft. in diameter, 7-ring tall, Sukup grain bin with a capacity of 21,000 bushels. Additionally external stairs were added for safe and easy access, a horizonal power sweep was installed, and a centrifugal fan was added for quiet and efficient operation.

All in all, our client was ready to roll into spring with brand new grain storage and might not have even needed to brush the snow off of it. If you are in need of upgrading your grain storage, grain drying, or grain handling, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Grain bin preseason building FS Construction Services

Project Profile: Grain Bin Built in Preseason

Last winter was a bit of an unusual one. We imagine there were probably many disappointed children (and many relieved parents) when the promise of sledding simply couldn’t be fulfilled because there wasn’t much snow. However, we like to look at the positives here at FS Construction Services, and one of the upsides of our relatively snow-less winter was that it ended up being a great time for easier preseason building and allowed clients to get further ahead of the curve.

 

Preseason Building of Grain Bin Storage

 

This was the case for one of our clients last January who was in need of some additional grain storage. Thanks to some cooperative weather, we were able to quickly complete construction on a 6-ring tall, 30’ in diameter storage bin. This Sukup grain bin has a capacity of 14,000 bushels and also included two down augers, an incline unload head with power sweep, and finally an exterior staircase for safe and convenient access. When all was said and done, the new structure was built and our client was able to begin the year with the comfort of knowing plenty of storage would be available when needed.

While we can’t always guarantee smooth and calm weather, we can certainly proclaim the benefits of preseason building. Of course, we know that time and circumstance doesn’t always allow, but if you can plan ahead and schedule your grain storage, drying, or handling needs, you will set yourself up for less worry and trouble down the road when time and circumstance may not be so generous.

If you are in the market for new, additional, or updated grain systems, or any other type of building, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services Nathan Bleem quoting and estimating

Bleem Profile: Quoting and Estimating

Over the past few months, we have taken some time to introduce you to Jarret Herzog, one of our team members here at FS Construction Services, and discuss how his experience and expertise is foundational to our business and a great benefit to our clients. We wanted to continue with the idea that the people really do make the place, so we are going to highlight another one of our wonderful employees: Nathan Bleem.

 

Quoting and Estimating Expert Nathan Bleem

 

Nathan joined us six years ago as our Service and Sales Support specialist, but he has been in related fields since his time in college, where he studied plant soil science. When it comes to the logistics for how a job is going to get done, Nathan is our guy.

He describes his job like building a giant Lego set. When we meet with a client to determine their needs, Nathan will turn those notes into a CAD drawing, then use that as a template for estimating a price for the job. When that proposal is approved, all materials for the build have to be planned, sourced, and organized. This means that Nathan is working with multiple vendors and dealing with multiple shipping windows at once to make sure everything can arrive to the job site on time and in order. The thought of spinning all those plates may send some into a panic, but thankfully for us and our clients, it’s Nathan’s ideal zone of operation. Pick any one of our projects over the years, and you’re bound to land on one that has many parts and pieces, both small and large, that need to be calculated, ordered, and accounted for.

One of the reasons we are always on the lookout for the best of the best is because we know how often customers come to us for suggestions. And those suggestions are no good if they don’t work or are needlessly expensive. In Nathan’s words, when speaking of working with clients on grain storage, “When we work with a customer, many times they know approximately what size bin they will need. Meaning, how many bushels it will have to hold. From there, we give size recommendations and options. We figure out ways to make projects work within their current set up. We know what will work and what will not work if a project calls for marrying components from various manufacturers.”

If you are interested in getting an estimate for an upcoming project, grain system project or otherwise, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services repair or replace damaged grain bins

Damaged Grain Bins: Repair or Replace?

We all know the unpleasant feeling of having to inspect damage to a building or vehicle and trying to determine if it rises to the level of needing to be replaced or if you’ll be able to make it work. The unfortunate reality for those in the agricultural world is that this is just a fact of life for owning a grain bin. Grain bins are tall, intentionally light as possible, and often constructed in areas of the country where the landscape is flatter and the winds are higher. So the question becomes, when do you repair a grain bin and when do you replace one?

Tips to Determine Repair or Replace Damaged Grain Bins

After a heavy windstorm, check the exterior of your grain bin. You will want to make sure the walls are not bent or bowed, but straight up and down and that the eave is parallel to the ground. Also, be sure to make sure the bin is sitting squarely on its foundation and not pushed to either side.

Next, you will want to check the sealant around the bin’s foundation. If it’s damaged, it’s possible the anchors or wall sheets have failed. You can use this time to also look for broken, missing, or corroded anchor plates and bolts.

If the bin doesn’t appear to have any external damage and is sitting properly on its foundation, you can move into the bin to look around the interior. Make sure the door is still squared up, check the interior walls for damage, and from the inside you can also see if any of the roof sheets have been warped. Also make sure that all the wind rings and stiffeners are in place.

In many cases, you will be able to determine what can be repaired and what needs to be replaced. However, if you are ever uncertain, have questions, or are in need of new or updated grain storage, grain handling, or grain drying, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services grain dryer pre-harvest check up

Grain Dryer Pre-Harvest Checkup

It’s probably accurate to say that there aren’t many times of the year where harvest isn’t a thought in the mind of a farmer. But as we move throughout this summer, that thought of harvest is going to grow much bigger in a short amount of time. So here at FS Construction Services we thought it would be a good idea to discuss the grain dryer pre-harvest checkup you will want to run on your grain dryers to make sure everything is operational and ready for the coming harvest.

 

FSCS Suggests a Grain Dryer Pre-Harvest Checkup

 

This first one is obvious and yet too critical to ignore. Be sure to practice all appropriate safety measures when servicing or inspecting any electrical or mechanical components.

Next, you will want to perform a thorough cleaning. Check all augers, downspouts, and dryer columns for debris and signs of animals taking up residence. Clean your control box and sweep up the floors and clear out any standing debris.

As you’re moving around your dryer, you can check for wear and tear. Inspect your belts to make sure they are not worn down and still hold proper tension. Make sure your hoses and connections are all secure and not leaking and check the burner for obstructions, nests, or anything that would prevent it from operating the way it needs to.

We know the days are busy, but if you can get to this early enough, you will also have time for a test run. Firing everything up before you need to actually start filling it with grain is an invaluable step and can save you a lot of stress down the road.

If you have questions about preseason checks for grain dyers, or if you are in need of any new or updated grain system equipment, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Jarret Herzog FS Construction Services grain system brands expert

Herzog Profile: Grain System Brands We Service (#2 of 3)

Last month we spent some time focusing on one of our own employees, Jarret Herzog, as we explored the topic of preventative maintenance. Jarret’s almost 20 years as Service Manager at FS Construction Services makes him an ideal resource to discuss servicing grain systems.

This time, we are going to let Jarret talk about the three main manufacturers we work with in the grain systems world.

 

Herzog is Expert in Grain System Brands

 

Sukup

“We have a lot of customers that purchase grain bins and storage systems from us that are the Sukup brand. We work closely with them. They are a family-owned business that is highly dedicated to supporting and delivering the highest quality materials for growers.”

Like Jarret said, we spend a lot of time working with Sukup Manufacturing equipment. They are known for their grain bins, dryers, and grain handling equipment. Their quality and value have made them a popular choice in the counties we most often work in. For that reason, we have become quite comfortable working with Sukup over the years. On the rare occasion we can’t answer a question about Sukup equipment, the close relationship we’ve built over the years makes finding those answers a fast and easy process.

 

Shivvers

“Shivvers is another family-owned company that we work closely with. Their high-quality systems and components make them a great provider of solutions for our customers.”

Shivvers Manufacturing has been a leader in the grain-drying world for 55 years, and it shows. Their excellent counter-flow drying systems are a great value for our customers. Similar to our partners at Sukkup, our close relationship with Shivvers is a tremendous asset to our customers.

 

GSI

“GSI is another manufacturer that we feature. They have solutions for storage, conditioning, and handling.”

While we are generally called upon less to work with GSI, they are still an incredible manufacturer that provides high-quality products. Their grain products cover a wide variety of functions and their global footprint provides unique industry insight.

 

With these three great brands as partners, we know that whatever problem or need our clients face, we will be able to find a solution that fits them. If you are interested in adding or updating a grain system, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

Gateway FS Construction Services choosing a grain dryer

Choosing the Right Grain Dryer

The ability to properly dry grain is one of the most crucial aspects of the agricultural process. There’s no point in taking the time and money to plant and harvest seed if that grain is just going to spoil after the fact. While grain is able to dry naturally, the ability to mechanically dry grain greatly speeds up the process. So as you can imagine, choosing the right grain dryer for your particular application is a matter of high importance. So we thought it would be a good idea to cover some of the different types of grain dryers as you consider which one might be best for you.

 

Premier Selection of Grain Dryers

 

In-Bin Dryers

In-bin dryers are great for those who don’t need significant capacity but would still like a high quality dryer that is also reliable and economical. Depending on the size of the bin and fan/heater combination, these bins can dry up to 500 bushels per hour.

Single and Two Fan Dryers

Single and two fan dryers are able to dry up to between 200 and 730 bushels per hour, increasing your drying capacity and while also automating the operation. They also install easily, often using existing storage but also able to utilize new storage.

Stackable Series Dryers

These types of dryers are typically used for larger operations needing to dry a lot of grain in a short timeframe. With capacities reaching up to 2,500 bushels per hour, stackable series dryers usually are able to fit into small areas and are automated to include high speed handling features.

Tower Dryers

While tower dryers are the most expensive style of dryer, they are also capable of drying the most amount of grain. Tower dryers can dry up to 10,000 bushels per hour.

 

The great thing about grain dryers is the high variety of customizability that can be provided. If you are interested in any kind of grain system, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services grain system multi-generational farm

Project Profile: Multi-Generational Farm Grain System

At FS Construction Services we have enjoyed serving our community and many of our surrounding communities for over 40 years. One of the best aspects of working with so many in the agricultural world is that we get to spend so much time with generations of farmers and families that have passed their land, their knowledge, and their resources on down through the years, including this grain system.

 

Grain Hopper Bin Added to Grain System

 

So it was a great joy to have the opportunity to work with a multi-generational farm last summer when they were in need of some additional grain drying equipment. Nathan Koester and his team constructed an 18’ diameter, 5-ring tall Sukup hopper bin with a capacity of 4,900 bushels. This bin will act as a surge tank in front of a pre-existing drying bin to help keep the drying bin at a constant depth of grain and promote all-around faster drying. Additionally, we installed a fan on the bin for after-season storage as well as an easily accessible level indicator so our clients can check when the bin is close to capacity without having to actually enter the bin.

With this project completed in June, our clients were able to have everything in place for the upcoming harvest, helping ensure another year of production and another year of learning and training from one generation to another.

If you are in the market for any kind of new grain system, whether it is grain drying, grain storage, or grain handling, we can help you get the equipment you need to successfully get the job done. Our team of experts have decades of experience and will be happy to work with you on finding the right tools. If you have any questions at all, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.

FS Construction Services Additional Grain Storage

Project Profile: Additional Grain Storage for Returning Customer

As a consumer, one of the more stressful tasks can be finding the right place to do the job you need. Whether it’s an auto shop, an electrician, or just a new restaurant that you hope is good, we all want to make sure we can get the product we want, at a price that works, from a place we trust, including additional grain storage.

 

6,950 Bushels of Additional Grain Storage Before Harvest

 

And at FS Construction Services, we understand that value. And while we are grateful for all of our clients, there is a special feeling that comes when a first-time client becomes a return client. This was the case late last year when a customer who had been brand new in the year 2021 came back again with some additional storage needs.

Nathan Koester and his team were able to provide this new structure just in time for harvest to really pick up. They installed a 21’ Sukup hopper bin to function as a wet tank right next to a continuous flow dryer. This 5-ring tall bin has a capacity of 6,950 bushels. Additionally, our team added a fan for aeration during the drying season and to help with storage when moving into the winter season. We also installed a dual-use twin hopper gate, one going to the dryer and one for load out when the dryer isn’t needed. All in all, we had our return client up and running and ready to take on the thick of the season.

If you are in need of grain drying, grain storage, or grain handling equipment, whether you are a returning customer or have never contacted us before, please let Gateway FS Construction Services know. Give us a call at 866-551-3454, and let our specialists help you find exactly what you are looking for. We look forward to providing you the best customer service experience.